Sports

Robert F. Hall student off to Rio Grande on scholarship

December 3, 2020   ·   0 Comments

Written By ROBERT BELARDI

Robert F. Hall athlete Jake Merante has committed to the University of Rio Grande in Rio Grande, OH on a baseball scholarship. 

The catcher for the Titans Baseball Club in the Canadian Premier Baseball League of Ontario said he was at a loss for words when he was offered. 

“I didn’t know what to say. I just smiled. Honestly, it’s a one-time thing. This has never happened for me before. It was very exciting,” Merante said. 

The Titans were able to salvage some baseball, playing a 20-game fall ball season amidst COVID-19. 

A few games in, Director of Operations Lawrence Vera suggested producing a recruitment video. The University of Rio Grande responded and, in a conference call, offered the bona fide ball-player a scholarship. 

The Hockley Valley native is the youngest of four children and his three older siblings played hockey competitively. 

Growing up, Merante was exposed to hockey but predominantly played soccer. An incident one summer ultimately decided a changing of the guard. 

“One summer, my appendix burst. After I recovered, I switched from soccer to baseball,” Merante explained. 

He began his baseball career in Orangeville. After three years, Merante moved his career over to Barrie to play AA and AAA before moving to the Aurora Titans this past year. 

He played every position on the diamond, beginning with third base. When he moved to catcher, it simply stuck. 

“I’m a very talkative person in sports. I’m very loud. I keep the boys going. At the catching position you call pretty much every single play and you’re pretty much the backbone of the team. You have to stay strong all the time.” 

Throughout this past year, Merante says he has improved at the plate and, after working with his father landscaping, he says he feels a lot stronger.

Now, the waiting game begins.

Merante expects to be in Ohio in the third or last week of August in 2021 and he admits the nerves have settled in. 

“I’ve never really gone on trips without anybody from my family. Never lived on my own. It’s going to be a huge change, but I feel like I can fit in. Get used to it,” Merante said. 

He knows there will be people around to help him and to speak to. 

This past year, Merante helped lead the Robert F. Hall Wolfpack to the Div. 2 to the finals against the Iona Catholic Secondary School Dolphins this past year. 

As for his education, Merante has not quite decided on what subject he would like to pursue. He has yet to discuss his future with Rio Grande.

He said he is leaning more towards either Social Sciences or Business. That has yet to be determined. 



         

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